Thursday, February 01, 2007

Metal Storm: Weapon of the Future, Today

I really don't have a category for this post, so I'll have to start a new one. Naw, I'll wedge it in the Science category. I think this thing is so cool. This "thing" is a weapons system developed in Australia called Metal Storm. What makes it revolutionary (keep in mind that there hasn't been any significant change in gun design in a very long time) is that the projectiles are fired electronically, not by a firing pin. Each projectile carries its own propellant. This means that the rounds can be stacked, in effect pre-loaded, into the gun barrels. I said barrels, not barrel, because these weapons can have several barrels, each pre-loaded with multiple projectiles which can be fired in ultra-rapid, sequential order. Here's a bit more about the system:
  • electronically programmable rates of fire from single shots to ultra-rapid rates;
  • no moving parts, resulting in increased reliability and availability because there is less maintenance required and decreased possibility of malfunction;
  • increased firepower to weight ratio resulting in a lighter weapon with greater firepower compared to conventional weapons;
  • modular pods that could operate as a complete weapon system in one container;
  • 100% electronic operation;
  • the potential of grouping of multiple calibers and multiple lethalities in one gun allowing the user to vary the use to a specific situation;
  • numerous hybrid configurations and Special Forces applications that could result in enhanced capabilities for use behind enemy lines; and
  • fast second round strike capability before recoil effect.
Check out these photos if you don't believe me. My only question is, why aren't we (the U.S. miltary) already using these things? If you know the answer, please educate me.